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Nexus - Breaking Through

Posted on Monday 27 November 2023 @ 07:06 by Lieutenant Nir’anyar & Captain Melody Jones

Mission: The Search
Location: Nexus
Timeline: No Meaning
1912 words - 3.8 OF Standard Post Measure


The setting had changed four other times in the blink of an eye the more Anya thought about what she had wanted from her life but each time she could feel a fog lifting, remembering more from the last shift until finally she found herself in Sickbay of the USS Merlin once again... or finally. It was difficult to say. But she was in a familiar location and this felt more real that anything she had seen up until this moment after waking up and finding she had children.

The main sickbay was dark with soft lilac lighting illuminating the back of the biobeds, a soft yellow light spilling from her office which she moved towards, ignoring the whispers coming from the dark corners. Voices she recognised. Seklar, Caroline, Melody, her protégé Zirvell... Matthew. But their words were quiet, tumbling over each other and not clear enough for her to know what they were saying.

Something about this seemed familiar beyond the setting and the voices. A dream state, a famous Captain from history... She just hoped that the Computers from this dream worked the same as the real thing.
She started towards her office "Computer, compile data on occurrences in history, say the last 30 years, famous historic captain, dream like state. Display on my terminal" she finished as she dropped down into the chair behind her desk as the data started to come up on the display.

Captain Georgiou of the USS Shenzhou... To distant.
Captain Desoto of the USS Hood... possibly but it didn't seem right somehow, the same with the next two but then she caught sight of a name, one she had spoken to a Junior Science Officer on the Merlin about. Guinan, Lacool... Was she in the nexus? A form of cosmic energy ribbon? How?

Her mind started to focus on Captain Jones and how she needed to speak to her urgently, the real one and not a figment of her imagination within the Nexus. The more she thought about her, her need to see her and talk to her... The surrounding office started to change, morph into another location...

From around a junction in a corridor, Captain Jones appeared. She looked relieved when she saw Anya and came over to her in a hurry. "Commander Nir'anayar. I'm so glad I found you. Come quickly. I need your help." Melody started to lead her along a corridor.

"Commander?" she asked quietly as her hand shot up to the pips on her collar and there were indeed three of them rather than the two she should have had. "I'm still in the dream aren't I?"

She followed the image, or what she assumed was the image, of Captain Jones, her mind focussing on getting back to the real Captain but nothing more changed. Could this be her also trapped within her own dream like state?

This Melody just smiled at her as they carried on down the corridor. "I can assure you Commander, this is no dream. It seems the Merlin has become lodged in a layer of subspace. We are to take a shuttle and see if we can free the ship and crew. Don't you remember?" she asked as they entered a shuttle bay, a Runabout waiting for them.

For the briefest of moments, Anya contemplated back handing the frustration that was standing before her in the form of Melody Jones. Instead, she fought down the flash of anger and frustration and again persisted.
"Captain, if this is really you snap out of it. This isn't real!"

Melody stopped and turned to look at her, a funny expression on her face. All of a sudden everything around them stopped. There was an eerie silence. When Melody spoke again, her voice had a strange sonorous quality to it. "I assure you everything here is as real as anything that ever was or ever will be. It is you who have a narrow concept of what is real and what is not. She snapped her fingers and every thing around them dissolved into whiteness that seemed to stretch out in all directions without end.

"You... You are different somehow. You seem to have to have no desires. Normally, the creatures that come here create their own paradise and are quite content with what they create. Most want to be here. They fight to return here, desperately, sometimes fanatically. Even if they are aware of its true nature, more often than not they stay, preferring this place to where they were before. On the very rare occasions, they leave by their own will. Yet you... you do not seem to want to do that. I find you most curious. You reject this reality yet you seem unable to leave it."

Melody now sat down in one of two chairs that had suddenly appeared out of nowhere. "You are funny little creatures. Tell me. What is it you want?"

"Freedom to live my life free from constraints or illusions. No matter how you paint it this is a prison and I have seen prisons before. They are brutal, torturous places that make it known that you are lacking freedom. This place is more insidious. It takes your freedom from you and makes you believe you have everything you ever dreamed... even if it is just that, a dream!"
Her words were laced with conviction but also a sadness at the idea of what she would be giving up. Children, Matthew, surrounded by friends... It was a heady offer. "And my inability to leave this place is because what you offer is something I deeply desire but equally as strong is my desire to live my life and not live an existence that is nothing more than a fantasy!"

'Melody' seemed to get quite upset by this. "This place is not a prison nor a fantasy!...... Well, I suppose to your limited brain it would seem as such. She sighed and sank back into her chair, seemingly deflated.
"You don't know what I've seen. I chose this form as it is someone you have strong connections with. Someone you recognise and respect."

"Yes, and that is why I need to speak to the real Captain Jones". She insisted, her ire starting to build.

Melody thought for a moment. "I'm not sure how to put this into terms you would understand. I did not create this place..." She struggled to find the right words. "I suppose I am this place. What you call time does not affect us. Your universe is part but so so much more and that has always been and always shall be. Be thankful you did not encounter the other."

"The other?" more than a tinge of her frustrations starting to spill into her tone of voice

"Although it may not seem like it, things always have to be balanced. Since here is a place of joy and contentment, The Other is a place of suffering, torment, and misery. I don't know how else to describe it but this one" she gestured to herself "Would call it Hell."

"What are you talking about? Speak straight or better yet take me to the real Captain Jones!" Anya moved forward, her fists balling, coiled to strike if she heard one more thing from this being that didn't make sense.

This Melody sighed. "You are very insistent for such a limited being." She made a gesture with her hand and another Melody appeared.

She frowned as she looked around. "Ayna... Is that you?" She asked cautiously. She looked at her doppelganger. "Hey, good looking. Not bad." She quipped. She turned back to Anya "Is this your ideal version of me? A little less on the waistband if you please."

Anya's ire was bubbling over at this point, the pressure, the desperation to get free of this prison no matter how it was dressed up was just too much.
"ENOUGH!" she bellowed. "No more illusions, no more games. I need out of here. I've been in a prison before and I can't live like that again no matter how gilded the cage is. I need to speak to the real Melody Jones now!"

"Yep, that's the real Anya." Melody said as she walked over to her. "Anya.... It's me. It's Melody. Are you ok?"

The faux Melody nodded in agreement "She speaks the truth, this is the one you call the real Melody Jones."

"If this is another illusion I will break a pair of noses!" the Benzite's eyes darting between the two.

Melody went on. "What with the sabotage of the engines and the sensors, everything was so chaotic before the ship was engulfed by the energy ribbon. A team from the USS Freeman Dyson have entered the Nexus to bring us home, Sansa is with them." She lowered her voice "Who's that?" indicating her doppelganger.

The Faux Melody spoke, apparently having heard her. "As I told this one, I am of this place. I selected this form to communicate with you.

"If communication is half truths, riddles and illusions!" she spat back at the shade imitating Captain Jones.

Melody turned to address... herself. "I don't totally understand what's going on here but if what you say is true, all I want is my crew returned to our reality. Please?"

The Faux Melody studied her for a moment, a bond forming. "I have respect for you. You care about those who came with you."

Melody replied simply "They're my crew. I'm their Captain."

The faux Melody nodded. "You should know, I cannot compel your kind to leave this place. I can only give them a choice and they must choose if they stay or go. I will return."

She blinked out of existence for a fraction of a second. "It is done. Simply concentrate on your destination and those who have chosen to leave will leave with you. You are of course welcome back here, I would like to get to know you better Melody Jones."

"Another time perhaps," Melody replied and then smiled as she realised what she had said. "...Time."

Melody turned back to Anya. "Shall we go home?"

Anya had bitten her tongue, not wanting to say anything more as her own desire had been to check on her crew, help them escape.
"Perhaps my approach was to much of a... What's that colourful Human term, male bos taurus in a porcelain crockery retail establishment" She smiled and entirely out of character leaned in to Melody and hugged her, lost in the moment before snapping to attention. "Captain... My apologies!"

Melody had to think for a moment as she tried to work out what Anya had said.... When she finally realised, she chuckled. "You mean like a bull in a china shop? It's quite alright Lietuenant. I'm just glad you're safe."

She turned to her doppelganger and gave her a nod of respect, before she turned back to Anya.

"Now Sansa had told me the time they left the Freeman Dyson. She also said the ECH told them to aim for 5 minutes after they left to return so as to not mess up the timeline."

Melody closed her eyes and concentrated. A brilliant white light enveloped them both...


●●●● Captain Melody Jones
Commanding Officer
USS Merlin

●● Lieutenant Nir’anyar
Chief Medical Officer
USS Merlin


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